Where will Perth’s second CBD be?

Rapid population growth has transformed Perth into a global city which is now home to more than two million people and internationally recognised organisations and attractions.

To accommodate and maximise the talents of the forecast 3.5 million people by 2050, the future of the Perth and Peel region will need to transition toward a polycentric CBD model which involves several key centres driving economic and employment growth over time, and building concentrations of productivity and innovation similar to the Perth CBD. 

Driving economic and employment growth and attracting investment and visitors have been a major focus for Joondalup in recent years as it strives to be the Central Business District for the northern corridor of the Greater Perth region. The Joondalup City Centre is a natural candidate for the CBD of the North due to its existing geographic and economic advantages and its on-going commitment to being a global city – bold, creative and prosperous.

At a recent business forum held in Joondalup, Damian Stone of Y-Research said: “The Joondalup City Centre through careful long-term planning and infrastructure delivery has grown to accommodate Perth’s largest shopping centre, major university and health campuses, solid office and industrial property fed employment bases and the largest apartment market in the northern suburbs. This diversity of property uses has given Joondalup a competitive advantage over competing centres which should fuel future growth over the next decades”. 

Joondalup has come of age and is transforming into a vibrant, knowledge-based destination city and strategic employment centre. At ultimate development, Joondalup City Centre will support up to 45,000 jobs by 2050 and will build on its existing reputation as a centre of excellence in a range of growth sectors – from digital media, cyber security, engineering and technology – to specialist health, professional and scientific services and international education.

Property and commercial investment in Joondalup is not a new phenomenon. Over the last decade, the Joondalup City Centre has expanded by an average of 28,800m² of commercial floor space per annum to reach a total area of 806,960m² in 2017 with a 3.6% vacancy rate[1]. Over the same period, commercial building approvals have averaged $162 million per annum. Recent major expansions of the Joondalup Health Campus (JHC), Edith Cowan University, Lakeside Joondalup Shopping City (Lendlease), The Quadrangle (Landcorp) and HBF Arena have all contributed to this growth. 

The largest office development ever undertaken in Joondalup, Primewest’s $31 million multi-storey Prime House, will be tenanted by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation when the construction and fit-out are completed in October 2018. In total, about 800 government staff will take up the 9,600m² of floor space, which will lead to additional ancillary services and consultancies seeking to locate nearby.

The draft Joondalup Activity Centre Plan (JACP), currently with the WA Planning Commission for endorsement, proposes a range of initiatives to stimulate development and intensity to support employment growth while enhancing the liveability of Joondalup as a modern, connected and prosperous City. The JAPC identifies the ECU-owned 7.9 hectares endowment precinct opposite the train station and Lakeside Joondalup Shopping City to be developed into a Knowledge and Innovation Precinct.  ECU’s intention is to invest in the growth of the Joondalup City Centre by developing an iconic office accommodation precinct suitable for over 5,000 office workers. 

Health care is also at the forefront of Joondalup. The JHC, managed by Australia’s largest healthcare operator Ramsay Health Care, is the largest hospital in the region and one of the busiest emergency departments in Australia. JHC has received a $167 million State Government commitment to fund a medihotel, 90 new public hospital beds, 30 new mental health beds, an expansion of its emergency department, eight new operating theatres as well as an urgent clinic care. The WA Department of Health’s Clinical Services Framework suggests that ultimately JHC will be upgraded to include more tertiary services to respond to the significant population growth in the northern suburbs.

 The City of Joondalup is involved in other significant projects that will put Joondalup on the map as Perth’s CBD of the North. The Boas Place concept plan, endorsed by Joondalup Council earlier this year, gives clear directions of how a strategically located 13,000m² land parcel in the heart of the City Centre will be transformed to create a new civic, cultural, economic and residential hub with Stage One and Stage Two ultimately accommodating 1,390 workers. Ocean Reef Marina, only a few kilometres away from the City Centre, has recently received a commitment of $120 million from State Government which will open the door to future private sector investment expected to be worth more than $500million. The world-class marina is expected to generate 5,000 jobs during the construction phase and 1,000 full-time jobs when it becomes operational.  

With many large projects either under construction, approved or in advanced planning stages, the City of Joondalup is well placed to continue attracting a significant proportion of Perth’s commercial property investment. Overall, when it comes to diverse commercial investment opportunities in Perth with a long-term plan for success, Joondalup has the Commercial Edge.

[1] WAPC Land Use Survey 2017

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